Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:15 pm

I never thought I would have a better insight into poor people than does liberal recall-opposer and Arnold-basher Steve Lopez of the Dog Trainer. But Lopez has proved that he doesn’t have a clue, in his column titled Arnold Flexes a Revolution Among the Suffering ‘Haves’. After noting that the average Joe supports Arnold because he feels ripped off by state government, Lopez starts in with the nonsense:

But on the road with Arnold’s California Comeback Express, I noticed something at the rallies in Costa Mesa, San Diego and Arcadia.

The revolutionaries don’t seem to be suffering as much as you’d expect, given their zeal for storming the walls. They dress reasonably well (particularly in San Diego), they drive cars the size of PT boats, and they struggle when I ask what exactly is missing in their lives.

“I guess taxes are too high,” a retiree told me in Costa Mesa.

Now, this all could be considered fair comment as applied to the people at the rallies. But Lopez acts as though the people at the rallies are representative of the plurality of Californians who still (to Lopez’s chagrin) support Arnold, despite the best efforts of Lopez’s paper to derail Arnold’s campaign.

Memo to Lopez: the people who are really excited about keeping their car taxes low are working, and don’t have time to attend political rallies — much less cover them for a newspaper and make smart-ass comments.

Lopez continues:

The hike in the annual car tax puts it among the highest in the nation. But on the average car, we’re talking about a jump from $70 to $210. Not exactly chump change, but it’s quite a spectacle to see people delirious over a savings of $140, especially when it will mean $4 billion in cuts that Schwarzenegger has yet to explain.

Understand clearly: this is coming from a guy whom the L.A. Examiner has described as “a guy paid $300,000 a year to write three columns a week.

Yeah, I guess it is a little difficult to understand someone being happy about the prospect of saving a measly $140 — especially when you pull in three hundred large a year. Jeez, $140 won’t even get you a decent bottle of wine at Spago.

Of course, for many poor people it could mean the difference between having enough money to put down a security deposit on an apartment, and continuing to have to live in an overpriced motel room. It could mean the difference between a nutritious diet and an unhealthy one — for weeks. It could mean a decent Christmas for the kids instead of the crap one you figured you’d have to settle for.

But don’t try to explain that to $300,000 per year columnist Steve Lopez. He just thinks it’s all a hoot.


Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:00 pm

Mickey Kaus notes here that there is no substance to the Dog Trainer‘s repeated assertions that there has been some major turning point in the polls on the recall. Kaus explains why the polls say nothing meaningful, and concludes with this zinger: “The Davis campaign has grasped at this thin lifeline and, gee, the L.A. Times has too!”


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:54 pm

UPDATE TO POST FROM SUNDAY: I have updated my post below on the Dog Trainer scandal, with information from the L.A. Weekly story about Davis connections to the Arnold groping stinkbomb. The story is from Saturday, but I didn’t hear it until today. I have shown the update by including it in brackets. It fits right into the analysis, as you will see.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:33 pm

GRAY DAVIS: IMMIGRANTS ARE IMPORTANT TO HAVE AROUND, TO CLEAN UP AFTER US WHITE GUYS: fresh potatoes has a nice point here about the recent Dog Trainer story titled Davis Is Battling Image of Aloofness. In that story, Gray Davis is quoted as saying that illegal immigrants are indispensable to California’s economy. Davis then made the following observation:

We need immigrants to pick our food and put it on our tables. We need immigrants to clean our hotels and office buildings and take care of the elderly. That work is important. Whether people are janitors or maids or busboys or cooks, it’s all part of the experience we enjoy when we’re at a restaurant or a hotel.

When I looked at this story the other day, I was composing a post about how outrageous it was that the Dog Trainer was portraying Davis as calm and aloof, when it had evidence that he is a closet whacko. Focused on that issue, I skipped right over this arrogant quote — perhaps because the Dog Trainer had not mentioned the arrogance of the statement in the headline, as it would with a Republican. So I completely missed this quote until I read fresh potatoes, who observes:

Heaven forbid that the Democrats offer Latinos a positive vision of hope, opportunity, and upward mobility. Heaven forbid that the Democrats recognize that not all Latinos are poor, undocumented illegal immigrants, and that many Latinos are third, fourth, or fifth generation Californians and are doctors, lawyers, and business owners. The Democrats, or at least this Governor, apparently only likes Latinos when they know their place.

Nicely put.

P.S.: I find it interesting that the Dog Trainer faults Davis for one thing and one thing only: saying this to the wrong audience. “The audience was Latino,” and by making these comments, the story says, Davis “seemed to forget his audience.” Dog Trainer reporters know: if you’re going to say something indefensible, try to pick an audience that will agree with you.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:33 am

MEDIA ETHICS ON LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: The following letter appears in this morning’s Dog Trainer (scroll to the bottom letter at this link):

With all the money spent for this “waste of time” recall we could have put this state back in order. When the people get to the polls Tuesday, they will realize that the right man for the job has it already. This “circus parade” must come to an end, and California should get back on track.

Arturo Aguilar

Panorama City

I don’t print this for the purpose of showing that people write dumb letters to the editor; you know that already. Rather, I want to bring up an issue that I have discussed before (see the end of this post, for example): newspapers should not print letters with factual assertions the paper knows to be untrue.

No matter whom you ask, this recall election will cost considerably less than $100 million. No matter whom you ask, the budget deficit in this state runs several billion dollars. I know the phrase “put this state back in order” is vague, but the clear implication is that we could take care of our fiscal problems if we just had the money we spent on the election. The Dog Trainer editors know this isn’t true, but they print the letter anyway.

By the way, the paper is on record as opposing the recall. Coincidence? You make the call.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:49 am

KAUS CATCHES UP TO PATTERICO: Mickey Kaus observes today:

I was so wrong to suggest, below, that by dribbling out the stories of Schwarzengroping victims in twos and threes the Los Angeles Times would “lessen their impact.” In fact, the daily announcement of new victims has kept the story alive, forced Schwarzenegger to keep responding (and tempted him to waver from his appealing apology strategy), given his opponents new excuses to ratchet up their criticisms, and given the press a convenient “mounting” body count to keep updating and new rounds of self-fulfillling “process” stories recounting how Arnold has lost another day of campaigning.

I agree, but I think Mickey is a little late to this observation. I told you Friday: “It’s now clear that the only reason the editors didn’t wait to publish this on Sunday is because they wanted several days of follow-up stories on the Arnold stinkbomb.”


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:45 am

THE GROPE COUNT: Stands at 15.

UPDATE: Make that 16.

UPDATE x2: Well, maybe 15. According to Xrlq, a hairdresser has come forth to say that he took the photos that #16 had claimed were taken by Arnold. Also, #16 apparently has a little rap sheet.

Go to Xrlq’s site and look at the picture of the woman — another thing that seems to make this case a fit subject for the song “One of These Things Is Not Like the Others.”

UPDATE x3: Maybe she doesn’t have a rap sheet, after all. Her lawyer says no. I have no idea any more and, further, I don’t care.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:44 am



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:41 am

HEWITT VS. DOG TRAINER: Hugh Hewitt calls the election a referendum on the Los Angeles Times. I would have preferred that he call it a “referendum on the Los Angeles Dog Trainer,” but otherwise it’s a pretty good piece.

(Hat tip: Calblog.)


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:07 am

THE GRAY DAVIS ASHTRAY STORY IN THE DOG TRAINER?? SORT OF: The Dog Trainer has finally printed something about the “Gray Davis hurling an ashtray” story. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, see this post for all the details.) To my knowledge, this is the first time that this story has even been hinted at in the pages of the Dog Trainer. Wow — a detailed expose of the allegations that Gray Davis physically abused women employees?? Nah, don’t get too excited. As Kaus points out, it’s in Roy Rivenburg’s humor column:

Demonstrating a firm grasp of legal matters, the California Women’s Law Center asks the L.A. County district attorney to conduct a criminal probe into the groping accusations against Schwarzenegger. The D.A. informs center officials that such investigations are handled by police and that misdemeanors are prosecuted by city attorneys. Moreover, the statute of limitations has run out in every instance cited in news reports. When center officials are asked if they also urged the D.A. to investigate a 1997 New Times report that Davis allegedly hurled an ashtray at a female staffer, they said, “Of course not. He’s a Democrat.”

It’s funny ’cause it’s true. Read the whole thing — it’s all pretty good.

It takes only a slight tweaking of Rivenburg’s language to explain the Dog Trainer‘s history of refusing to cover this story. Here is Patterico’s version:

When Dog Trainer editors were asked if they will run a news story relating to allegations in a 1997 New Times report that Davis hurled an ashtray at a female staffer, they said, “Of course not. He’s a Democrat.”

On a more serious note, I have asked this question. Last night I sent an e-mail to the folks at the Dog Trainer asking them why they have never run this story, and the other allegations of physical abuse by Davis. I’ll let you know what they say.

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